David Brenner, Oscar-Winning Film Editor for Oliver Stone, Dies at 59 He cut nine films for the director and worked with Zack Snyder on the two ‘Justice League’ versions, plus ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.’
David Brenner, the film editor who won an Oscar for Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July, one of nine movies he cut for the director, has died. He was 59.
Brenner died suddenly Thursday morning at his home in West Hollywood, his wife, Amber, told The Hollywood Reporter. He had been working at home on James Cameron’s Avatar sequels for about a year, editing footage shot in New Zealand. “We were spending a lot of time together,” she said.
In addition to Born on the Fourth of July (1989) — he shared his Oscar with co-editor Joe Hutshing — Brenner partnered with Stone on Platoon (1986), Salvador (1986), Wall Street (1987), Talk Radio (1988), The Doors (1991) — one of his personal favorites — Heaven & Earth (1993), World Trade Center (2006) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
He edited Zack Snyder’s 2017 original and last year’s 242-minute version of Justice League after collaborating with the director on two other superhero films: Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
For Roland Emmerich, Brenner cut Independence Day (1996), The Patriot (2000), The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and 2012 (2009). He worked with James Mangold on Kate & Leopold (2001) and Identity (2003), with Rob Marshall on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) and with Timur Bekmambetov on Wanted (2008).
In a 2021 interview published on ProVideoCoalition, Brenner said that his goal in editing a movie was always the same, whether a tentpole or a smaller film.
“The gigantic features may have elaborate action scenes involving a lot of footage and a lot of CG, which brings a host of editorial challenges. They frequently also have complex storylines with many interweaving characters, which the editor has to track, massage, make flow and climax,” he said.
“But this is exactly what the editor must do with many smaller films. … So, no matter what the budget or scale, as the editor, you’re just trying to get the story and characters to work. Whether it’s a $200 million action film or a $20 million art house film, you’re still trying to get the movie to play.”
He added: “I like to keep cutting until you get to a version where you and the director feel it’s too tight. Where you feel, ‘That was too fast, that was too short, this is hard to follow, this isn’t landing.’ It’s good to get to this point because you know you’ve crossed the limit. Now you isolate these over-tight moments and put some air back into them.”
Born in Hollywood, Brenner attended North Hollywood High School and Stanford before serving as an apprentice editor on the 1985 film Radioactive Dreams. As an assistant on Salvador, Platoon and Wall Street, he was mentored by British film editor Claire Simpson.
Born on the Fourth of July was only his second feature as a film editor, and winning an Oscar for that was “crazy, surreal,” he said last year.
In addition to his wife — they were together for 19 years — survivors include his children, Anna, Haider and Sasha. Avatar producer Jon Landau and Lightstorm Entertainment have organized a GoFundMe campaign to assist the family.
News Source: hollywoodreporter .com